1. Himeji Castle in Hyogo prefecture.
One of the most popular castles in Japan is Himeji Castle as known as Shirasagi-jo (White Heron Castle) because of its resemblance to a snowy egret taking flight. Built by Ikeda Terumasa in 1609, it was designated as a national treasure in 1951, and registered the first Japanese UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. It is located in Hyogo prefecture known for Kobe beef.
2. Hikone Castle in Shiga prefecture.
Located in Shiga prefecure known for Lake Biwa, it was built by Ii Naotaka in 1606. And it was designated as a national treasure in 1953. These days Hikone Castle is getting pretty famous thanks to its advertisement fancy character, Hikonyan. Even my friend living in the U.S.A has a Hikonyan stuffed animal. Hikyonan rules !
Something special about Hikone Castle is Hikonyan. Mew !
3. Inuyama Castle in Aichi prefecture.
Located in Aichi prefecure known for the home of Toyota, it was built by Oda Nobuyasu. It is one of four castles designated as a national treasure. It’s not sure when it was built, but some say it is the oldest remaining castle in Japan.
4. Hirosaki Castle in Aomori prefecture.
Located in Aomori prefecture known for delicious apples, it was built by Tsugaru Nbuhira in 1810. It is a three-story building with three roofs and a height of 14.4 meters. There’s no remaining donjon except Hirosaki Castle in Tohoku region.
5. Maruoka Castle in Fukuki prefecture.
Located in Fukui prefecture known for the home of Soto Zen sect, it was built by Shibata Katsutoyo in 1574. Something you should know is this is the oldest donjon in Japan !
6. Matsue Caslte in Shimane prefecture.
Located in Shimane prefecture known for Izumo shrine, it was built by Horio Yoshiharu in 1607. Something unique about Matsue Castle is its pleasure boat tour. It goes around Matsue city and you can see old samurai houses along with streets. In winter, you can just sit in Kotatsu warmer in the boat while listening to a tour guide, who is a boat captain, too.
7. Bitchu Matsuyama Castle in Okayama prefecture.
Located in Okayama prefecture known for Momotaro folklore, it was built by Mizunoya Katsutaka in 1683. As the first photo shows, it’s located in a mountain, which is 478 meters above sea level. It is the castle with the highest elevation above sea level in Japan.
8. Marugame Castle in Kagawa prefecture.
Located in Kagawa prefecture known for Udon, it was originally built by Ikoma Chikamasa in 1642, but later renovated by Kyogoku Takakazu in 1660.
9. Matsuyama Castle in Ehime prefecture.
10. Uwajima Castle in Ehime prefecture.
11. Kochi Castle in Kochi prefecture.
Located in Kochi prefecture known for the Shimanto river, it was built by Yamauchi Toyonobu in 1747. If you have watched “I can Hear the Sea” by Studio Ghibli, the castle in the animation is this !
12. Matsumoto Castle in Nagano prefecture.
Let me finish this curation with my prefecture’s castle ! As you can see, something spectacular about Matsumo Castle is the combination of the castle and the Japan Alps. It’s beautiful, isn’t it ? In winter, you can see the snow capped castle and the mountains, too. The air is brisk through the year because of its highland day weather.